The Crazy Adventures in Wadi

First of all-HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYDEN!!!! Whoop!!! It is midnight in Egypt. We just had a cake delivered to the camp, Greg is playing guitar, Coleman is showing Wyatt something on his phone that is playing “Eye of the Tiger” and other than that, all is good in the world!

Earlier in the week I was on the top of our building reading in Psalms 19. “The heavens declare the glory of the God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” David later writes that “the sun rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” The sun was rising over camp as I read that and it made me smile knowing how hot it would become. However, my weather app has updated everyday since then that it would be significantly hotter than the previous day…so I am now looking for verses that have to do with a cool breeze or clouds or anything. 

So my day started with football majors down on the old field with Gabe…this is Grady writing by the way, just in case you were wondering. We have 18 boys eager to learn the game and compete against each other. I have been here a number of times and it truly does fill me with joy to work with these young men and hope and pray I can reflect the Lord to them. From the football field we went to breakfast to eat eggs and beans. I then reffed beach handball with my fellow coaches Kim and Kaylee. In the sand the heat comes from above and below! Our other coaches were clutch in bringing us water in-between games. Pool time came at just the right time at that point! Hayden and I set up the game yardees (or yardis) which involves a pole with a small platform which balances a plastic bottle of…coke…definitely not beer. You throw the frisbee back and forth trying to knock off said bottle of beverage. If you successfully knock off the bottle you get points but the other team has a chance to catch the bottle to save points. Hayden and I promptly lost to team Dubs after we set up the game…bummer! 

After pool we had a nice fish fry. I love that they will have rice and French fries. Break time brought a nice nap as the temperatures really got oppressive. Afterward the campers payed some sort of a capture the flag type game around the whole camp. Apparently there was a small scuffle but nothing too bad. Hayden, Wyatt and I then reffed an intense game of basketball between the Alphas and Omegas. I believe the Omegas won. 

By the end of the night the campers had a “Hunger Games” challenge. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the game, but I’ll do my best. In a very dramatic scene, a line of fire was lit with a bag tied off to the side. If a string was cut the bag would swing across the fire and ignite. Campers were chosen to answer trivia questions about the history of the camp and if the answer was wrong the string was cut. I think that was what was going on…it was in Arabic and a lot of theatrics were involved. I’m pretty sure one of the questions was, how many times has Geoff been to camp? And I think the answer was 12. I may actually be way off the mark on what was going on but it was fun to watch the spectacle! 

It was a great day! Gregg and Cate shared their story of how their year has gone and how they came to be in Egypt. And then we ate cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to Hayden. I can’t tell you how much I love this place and these people and these fellow coaches! I feel blessed beyond words and I hope a very bleary eyed coach can do his best to describe the love I have for this place! And I assume if you are reading this you are invested in some way and I am absolutely grateful beyond belief. Thank you so so much! Shokran! Ana bahebek!!! 

-Grady 

 

The Life of Coleman

 

Hi There!

My name is Coleman Kerr and this is my first year being at Egypt! I am going to be a sophomore at Southwestern University where I study business and also play football. I grew up at a christian camp it has been amazing to be apart of another one this far away from home. It gives me hope realizing there are so many people who love Jesus half way across the world. 

Along with Hayden and Anna I am coaching Ultimate Frisbee. Like Anna said, we have SOO many campers. Learning everyone’s name may take a day or two more, but I enjoy the challenge. It is so rewarding to see the campers improving on their frisbee skills with just two days of practice. 

Day two was full of excitement because it was our first full day of camp with the campers. Together as a camp, we played a game called survivor where cabins had to compete against each other at different games across the camp. The game I was in charge of go a bit muddy. Campers had to crawl around in a mud pit completing obstacles and eventually had to throw a ball in a container up in the air. To end the day, the cabins participated in something called Cross Walk. Each cabin had to carry a wooden cross together in laps around the camp. Even though the cross was heavy, that isn’t what they were focused on. They concentrated on, as a cabin, getting the cross where it would be put into the ground in the center of camp regardless of the weight on their shoulders. I love how we all got to think about how Jesus felt when he had to carry his cross to calvary when he also was not thinking about the weight on his back but instead completing his mission here on earth which was to be nailed to that cross to take on the weight of our sins. 

I have only been in Egypt for a week and only been with campers for a day and a half, and I can already see how God is moving throughout camp. He is more present in this place than I ever could have imagined, and I am so excited to see how lives here are eternally changed. 

-Coleman 

 

CAMPERS CAME TODAY !!!

Hello friends!

Anna Snell here, this is my second time at Wadi Sports Camp and I am incredibly excited to see again how the Lord’s name is glorified and made known through having FUN! One of my favorite things about this camp is how much thought and effort and creativity is put into making this the best camp in Egypt – all for the glory of God and for the purpose of sharing his love with every person that steps on this property. After a couple of days of intense preparation (mostly by the Egyptian staffers – their hard work to make camp happen is amazing – with the help of us Americans) the campers finally arrived this afternoon! The stoke was incredibly high when the buses rolled in today. Participating in welcoming the campers today was definitely an amazing experience, especially since I was able to come on this trip last year and recognized a few familiar faces! The look on the campers faces as they came into the hall where everyone was waiting to throw a giant party for them was incredible. The coaches, the counsellors, and all the staff earnestly desire for these kids to not just have the most fun ever at camp, but have an encounter with Jesus that changes their lives forever. One of the ways Wadi does this is through Majors! Time spent in Majors is time invested in relationships and opportunities to break down barriers so that us coaches and other staffers can share God’s love for each of these campers. Each camper chooses a major sport that they want to participate in to improve their skills and have fun. I have the privilege to help coach Ultimate Frisbee with Hayden and Coleman, who are basically pros, as for me, I just like to have fun 🙂 Today we had our first Major, where we got to introduce our sport and try to learn as many names as possible. I hope I can learn a lot of kids names and get to know most of them, but it will be hard since over 45 campers signed up for Ultimate! I am hopeful and trust in the fact that the Lord has gone behind and before me, that He is with me and all the coaches and staffers and campers, and that ultimately His name WILL be glorified and made known in this place. Please continue to pray for the hearts of the campers – that the Lord will use this fun and amazing place to draw them closer to Him. And also continue to pray for our hearts and coaches, that we would be pure in our motives and make the most of each opportunity to point others to Christ. 

For the fun of it, and for His glory!

Anna Snell

 

Day 3 Adventures at Wadi

Waking up in Egypt, the first thought to cross my mind is how unreal it is that I am here. I thank God in remembrance of everyone and everything that has culminated in our team’s time here. 

 

The next thought is what will possibly happen on our third day here with no campers and a lot of work to do before they arrive the next day. The first day here, I randomly stepped forward when Shady, the camp director, asked for two volunteers mid-afternoon. He led me and Anna Snell, a returning coach, to five wooden chests that needed painting and fun designs. We sat down and worked despite the triple digit weather, and painting has been my main activity since then. 

 

Teepee tents, tarps, booths, dunk tapes, and more random items all came across my paintbrush in bright colors of blue, green, purple, pink, yellow, etc. Egypt has been exactly like that to me: painting in the most spectacular colors that steal your attention and transform even boring doors into vibrant works of art. 

 

Today consisted of waking up early, playing games all morning in a relentless one hundred and ten degree climate, catching the final minute of an emotional Arabic prayer session, then painting in that same blistering heat. 

 

Painting has provided me quality time with the Egyptian counselors, who are all around college age, speak impeccable English, and are the friendliest humans ever to exist. I bonded with one counselor about our mutual love of winter, another tricked me into learning a dirty word in Arabic, and all taught me so much about life in Egypt. Going into this trip, I anticipated sunburns, fear, and disappointment. I have encountered the opposite with no sunburn yet despite the heat, feeling incredibly safe everywhere, and every aspect of this country from the air to the sand largely exceeding every expectation. 

 

After painting, we had lunch at two o’clock pm, took a break, and then played games with the team until dinner. After dinner, our incredible friend Shahir played on his guitar a Grammy-worthy cover of Chicken Fried by the Zac Brown band ?? plus a couple of songs of equal caliber in Arabic that were beautifully translated as he sang. 

 

As I left for the last thing on our agenda for the day (a meeting from ten pm to midnight), an Egyptian counsellor named Gabby and I chatted for a few minutes, but in that short time, I felt the weight of the Holy Spirit. We shared our excitement over the new campers and she explained that what happens here truly changes lives, a truth the counselors know so deeply that their prayers times are filled with tears and holding each other. Later, Shady would go on to elaborate about the broken family lives and societal pressures faced by the campers coming from a culture with a high divorce rate and increasingly young age for drug use. In that moment, I understood why I had signed up for this trip that my Young Life leader offhandedly mentioned to me in February. 

 

Coming from a broken home myself with a lot of intense family issues, I felt such a connection to these campers coming tomorrow. I want to yell at the top of my lungs how redeemable the truth of Jesus is to all who feel distant, how life-giving the will of God is. These next few days will be difficult and exhausting, but God is calling this team deeper to explore how passionate His love for the nations, for every child in Cairo. 

 

Thank you so much for all of the support so far, and I hope that everyone reading this has a fantastic day. I guarantee you that I am on either the other side of the globe or at the same camp as you smiling constantly.

 

Thank you for making it this far in my thoughts, which is a scary place to be 99% of the time, so congratulations on your accomplishment.

 

Having a great time,

Jacquelyn xx

 

Camp Staff Training at Wadi Sports Camp

Hi! Thanks for showing up again to find out what our 2nd full day in Egypt entailed!  Most of all, THANK YOU for your love, encouragement, and prayers for our team. I know that God is at work in BIG ways and can feel this team of 17 Americans becoming unified, bold and brave, and full of God’s love for the new people He has brought into our lives.

 


Today started early with an hour of sports competitions before breakfast.  We gathered with all the Egyptian staff and broke up into teams based on the month of our birthdays.  Then we played 2 different sports against another team to have some fun competition, get to know each other, and build unity.  I loved this part of our day! If you know me, you know that i LOVE to play games, especially anything related to sports. My team consisted of 9 staff with birthdays in March, 2 of us were Americans … my amazing niece Cate and me, and 7 Egyptians, some I knew from last summer and some were new to the staff.  We competed in a game of Wallyball first, and we played well, laughed a lot, and won . Then we played soccer against some very talented and competitive Egyptians and lost. What a fun (and sweaty way) to start our day and to meet many new friends from this beautiful country.

 

Another highlight of our day was setting up camp by putting together sports equipment and moving it to the right part of camp, painting carnival games and teepees for camp events, picking up trash, and meeting with our co-coaches to plan and prepare for the sports we will be coaching.  This summer I have the privilege of coaching TENNIS with Kaylee Gott, my awesome friend and our Athletic Trainer at Hyde Park High School. She will definitely be the expert for the sport of tennis between the 2 of us! I am excited to follow her lead to use the sport of TENNIS to build relationships with campers.  God reminded me today of this TRUTH: All people from every nation love sports. He can use the vehicle of sports to connect people, build trust, and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE.

 

Hope you enjoy these pictures from our day and are reminded to pray for us as we serve the campers and staff of Wadi Sports Camp.  We miss y’all and are honored to be on this journey! And we are all doing GREAT!  

 

Please pray for strength and health physically as we head into the last day before all the campers arrive.  Please pray for God’s protection spiritually as we do the work He has called each of us here to do. Pray for God to move in the hearts of campers as they start camp Sunday.

 

Thankful for Yall,

Carrie

 

Welcome to Egypt

Welcome aboard another Egyptian expedition. This 2019 edition of RRM-goes-to-Egypt team involves many seasoned veterans alongside some new players. We are beyond excited to get started on this adventure that is unlike any other. As I begin my fifth straight summer at Wadi Sports Camp, I am overwhelmed with emotions. There is no doubt that I am excited for endless reasons- to reunite with some of the kindest, coolest and most fun people in the world; to interact, teach, love, and grow with campers; to experience a different culture and language; to witness young Egyptians come to know, experience, love and begin a relationship with Jesus; to participate in some of the most unique, detailed and fun games I could ever imagine; and to witness the love of God work and move in this camp to just name a few. This excitement is also accompanied with nostalgia and wonder. Wonder in what this new trip holds for us, and what God will do this time around. Nostalgia in past memories that have been embedded into every part of this camp. Since it is my 5th year, I constantly reflect on how different each year is, how much I have grown since the beginning, how certain things never change, and all the different ways God has shown up on these trips. I am always blown away with how quickly each year flies by. These memories also teach me how my perspective on Jesus and God has changed, grown, and strengthened. While this time in Egypt is so special for every person who chooses to come, it is something so much more to me- something I hardly can grasp or explain. So… Let’s get started.

As many of you already know and have heard about, our trip began with the usual travel day. I always want to give a big shout out to Emirates airline because of their awesome movie selection they always offer on their flights. This year was no different- the choices were endless and all so good. By the end of our 14 hour flight from Dallas to Dubai, my movie watch count was up to five and my hours of sleep count was still at 0. But don’t worry, I was able to catch an hour of sleep on our flight from Dubai to Egypt (and watch two more movies). The flights went smoothly, and we got through customs with all our people in tact and almost all of our bags. They lost one of our crates, but we just got word that it will be arriving on Saturday. We made our usual pitstop at Carrefour (Egypt’s version of Walmart) and then headed to Wadi Sports Camp. We arrived at the camp around 10pm, so we unpacked the van and headed straight to bed. Today was filled with training and setting up the camp. Even though our focus was to get the camp ready, we still found plenty of time to play some of our all-time favorite team games- like frisbee, Psychiatrist, and lots of card games. After setting up most of the camp, we had a cookout dinner by the pool and caught up with all of our Egypt counsellor and staff friends. Next, we had an American coaches meeting where we went over the backbone of what camp will be like and how each major/game will be taught and reffed. We finished the day with a fun, yet competitive, game of Wallyball. This game is basically a miniature version of volleyball, but it is indoors and you are allowed to use the walls to bounce the ball off of (hence the name). Well, that is all I have to say so far… Stay tuned to hear about many more experiences and meet our awesome RRM team. As always, we cannot thank everyone who supported enough. Whether you gave your support through finances, encouragement, prayer, or just by following us on this blog- we want to say a gigantic THANK YOU. You make all this possible and you are every part as important as any of us that feel called to go. You are a part of this awesome RRM team so welcome aboard. Much to come very soon… Until next time, Peace!

-Hayden

RRM Goes To Egypt 2019….

Wow, as I type these words, bags are nearly packed as we prepare to depart for another adventure of RRM going to Egypt.  I am so excited about this team going and about the opportunities that are ahead of us.  I have loved seeing God bringing a group ready to go, prompting people to help send, and stirring His people to pray.  I am so thankful for this team of go-ers/send-ers/pray-ers.  What a team!

I am going to try a couple things this summer.  Follow our instagram RRMgoestoEgypt to see updated pictures, and as always we will blog about this trip.  If you want to be included on our prayer team, send an email to geoff.rrm@gmail.com.

God is up to something…may we trust Him…

Here is a list of those going with me this summer…

Grace (college student)
Cate (college student)
Wyatt (HS student)
Hayden (college student)
Aubrie (just graduated)
Jacquelyn (college student)
Gabe (college student)
Coleman (college student)
Jacob (college student)
Anna (young married)
Greg (adult leader/rec professional)
Carrie (adult leader/nurse)
Grady (young adult/teacher)
Kylie (recent graduate/teacher)
Kim (HS soccer coach)
Kaylee (HS athletic trainer)
Chris (college pastor)
Tyler (young professional)
Thomas (college student)
Ryan (college student)
Rocko (college student)
Gage (college student)
Eric (college student)
Drew (college student)
Lauren (college student)
Shaye (college student)
Casey (college student)
Bailey (college student)
Ashleigh (college student)
Anissa (young married)
Alexis (college student)

Why we go to Egypt….from our Mizo

Traveling to another country can often be challenging and sometimes even be overwhelming. I have found that it is very important to have someone travel with us from the time we land at the airport until we arrive safely at camp. Then, it is especially important when we take the entire group to public places, whether that is the local store for supplies or to a popular tourist/historical sight.

Well, year after year, it seems this local friend has been one special young lady that is more than a tour guide/liaison. Mariz (or as we know her Mizo) was a camper in our early years of coming to camp. She then transitioned to the leadership team and would be the coordinator of the coaches and would help us at camp. Now, as a young professional in Egypt, she is no longer able to come and work camps. However, every year she takes vacation time or works her schedule so that she can meet us at the airport and transport us to camp. Then, she takes more time off to go with us when we travel around Egypt. She is no longer our Egyptian tour guide, she is family! She even traveled to Texas over Thanksgiving last year and experienced Texas football and Black Friday shopping with Grace. We love her more than words can express, and we have seen her grow from a shy camper who loved sports to a dynamic young woman who loves Jesus (and still loves sports). I asked her to share her thoughts on what she sees with the RRM team each year.

Sometimes people ask me, “Why Egypt? Why can’t you just serve closer to home?” When I form the answer, I often see faces like Mariz, and Shady, and Heba, and Toto, and Behar, and Fady, and Mina, and Taline, and Bisho, and Micho, and Amir, and Brimo, and John, and Andrew, and Merna, and Nader and on and on and on. These faces are why  we travel across the world to use sports to serve in this way.

Then, on top of that, I get to see what this place and this trip does to the team of coaches that go to serve. I again wish I had words to describe this process. But, all I can say is God is indeed up to something…and it is amazing to be a part of that something.

Thank you, Mizo for sharing this story and your life with us!

Who am I?

I’m a camper that had her life changed upside down because of my love and passion to sports! One of the main reasons of who I am today is Wadi Sports Camp!

First time I came to camp I was 16, I didn’t know a single person, I did not speak to anyone, I had a mindset of not listening about any “religious” stuff coz those evangelical church people have wrong beliefs (coming from a Coptic background). Just focus on sports, that’s what you came for – I told myself!

I remember my first second at Wadi I said that in mind “I will come back to this place for the rest of my life!!! I dunno how but I will! Yet how come I have this place in my country and I have no idea about it? How come there is a mix of Jesus, Fun and Sports all at the same time? (Still thinking those people are wrong). I decided to play play and play! Do what I love and just play sports as much as I can!

I got to know RRM team since I was a camper, I found some Americans all around the place doing nothing except loving us and teaching us sports! I did not understand why on earth would they travel all the way and just come to do this! I did not get the big picture back then – but what I knew is that they just love us so much. They added a beautiful atmosphere, excitement, encouragement and again endless love besides talking about Jesus so frankly without any borders or limits.

Looking at coaches as a camper I would say that kids definitely open up and accept whatever the coach says just because of the different skin colour may be!? That is a magical privilege for coaches talking genuinely about whatever and kids always accept it!  Some kind of cultural problems we have here does not give any other staff member that privilege and acceptance coaches have! It might sound cheesy from a counsellor but never cheesy or artificial from a coach!

Years have passed, I got to know Jesus at camp, I experienced love, acceptance, encouragement, community, family, support… the list goes on – Let’s say I experienced Life! Throughout the years I became a counsellor, I spent summers and summers at Wadi doing camps back to back.

Today I’m 30 years old, I do not get the same chance to be part of the staff or leadership team as much as before due to work and life busyness – yet I wait for that time of the year to have RRM team back for camps. I started to be responsible for the teams when I was still a student, my first time I took this role I was kinda freaking out and overwhelmed, but Geoff made my job way easier! He immediately made me part of his family, big family and small family. I never felt it is a heavy task, I always felt my family (who simply are abroad) are back in town and now it’s time to rock and roll! Time to be the bodyguard, time to serve, time to show this amazing team around, and do whatever I can to make life easier during your stay in my country. And oh how I love the body guard role!! 😀

Being not able to take long vacations for camps yet still be part of this beautiful WSC is something that makes me so so happy! As if RRM are the only link now for me to a place that changed my life forever!

And I want you to know that the fact that you guys just keep coming means so much! You keep changing people’s lives! Not only campers btw! You make a big impact on us staff as well in many unspoken ways! We look up to you. We love how you love Jesus. We love how you love sports. We love how you love life. Most of all, we love that you are now our family! Thank you so much for coming.

From Heba….camp leadership

Hi everyone!

This is Heba from the leadership team at Wadi Sports Camp. I have been working together with RRM throughout the year to organize their trip to Egypt and it couldn’t have been a more rewarding experience for me.

Since you have been reading daily about the coaches experience at camp and how their days go by here, we thought we would share with you an Egyptian’s perspective on this trip just to let you know how amazing these people are and how much we appreciate them coming year after year.

As you must have noticed from the previous posts, camp is a super super busy place and we don’t get much chill time, however, i have managed to have at least one small conversation with most coaches on this team and I love them all! It has been great having them all this year and witnessing the impact they have on our campers and staff. We love how this team owns the place, feels right at home as soon as they enter through camp gates and take on so many difficult tasks without ever complaining and always asking for more to do. You are not only our campers favorite but you constantly invest in and encourage our staff members as well (shoutout to Lauren who has been giving me my daily dose of smiles and hugs when i felt tired the most!)

To the RRM team, thank you for believing in us, loving camp that much, loving our campers and staff and constantly giving all you can without expecting anything in return. You are our partners in making this camp the best place ever. Because of you, we are able to make Jesus known to more campers every year. Looking forward to more years of this partnership. To anyone involved by any means in this trip, even if you couldn’t make it this year, thank you for sending these beautiful people over! IMG_4055

“Mom Don’t Worry I Survived Egypt”

Friends, family, senders, whoever may be reading this blog: thank you for sticking with us till the end. I have the weighty task of giving a “brief” wrap up to what I consider the trip of a lifetime. First off, I want to say that it is impossible to wrap so many stories, experiences, and relationships I have built into one blog post, so feel free to contact me with any questions or interests you have and I would love to tell you more about this summer. Just ask the rest of the people on this trip how much I love to talk, I promise you it’s no bother and I’d love to have a conversation.

 

God’s has had his hand over me my whole life, but this summer was arguably the most evident he has made himself to me in his plan for me. Not having any idea what I would be doing this summer, Geoff reached out to me with the internship offer of a lifetime, and that is how I ended up at Beit El Wadi, what I consider holy ground. It is so evident how present the Lord is in this camp by having a conversation with just one counselor. The amount of campers who have come for multiple years is incredible, and most of the counselors are former campers who have experienced the best weeks of their lives and want others to have that same experience. Many of them even came to the Lord at Wadi Sports Camp and return because this, to them, is also holy ground.

 

The relationships founded at WSC transcend barriers; whether that be distance, language, ethnicity, culture, or whatever else, everyone at WSC is treated as family. From the welcoming to the goodbyes, I have never met more genuine people in my life. For instance, one of my campers from W3 is insisting on driving to the airport to say goodbye one more time! Getting to know the campers was a gift from God, and to see the transformation in some of them in just 10 day’s time is a privilege I do not take lightly.

 

For the sake of your time, I will share one brief story that Carrie briefly mentioned in her blog. Mickey, a stud camper at only 16 years old, was talking about the cross walk, where the campers wake up early and silently carry a cross around camp. In his description, he spoke a truth so fundamental and so often overlooked, that Carrie and I kind of shared a look as if to say “WOW” with our eyes because we were so blown away. Mickey talked about how heavy the cross was. How much they struggled to carry it. How the weight seemed to become heavier and heavier as time went on. Then he said that this taught him that we are not supposed to carry our own burdens, because they can become so heavy. And how true is that, that we are not meant to carry our burdens on our own, but to give them to the Lord and he will take care of us? What a glorious perspective given by a young man striving after God’s heart.

 

This trip is incredible because the experience extends past camp as well. Although the goodbyes were hard and camp was long, we got to experience Egypt to the fullest. Today, some of our Egypt team got a chance to go see the pyramids in Cairo which is something I have longed to do since I was a little boy. I can say without a doubt that this was one of the greatest days I have experienced. The rich history, incredible architecture, and mystery behind them are sufficient to keep me thrilled enough to withstand the 110 degree weather and smell of death with a little bit of camel poop mixed in. The experience was mesmerizing and I will never forget it.

 

This trip is an overall immersion in Egypt. I have been blessed enough to get to encounter many different aspects of Egyptian life and culture, and for that I am thankful. Thankful to Geoff, to my supporters in prayer and finances, and thankful to God for intervening so blatantly in my life to show me that this summer I needed to be in Egypt. This team, these people, this country, and Beit El Wadi will always have a special place in my heart because of this summer and the work of the Father that has been so evident through it.

 

For the last time this summer,

Reese (the Intern)D7AB68CD-718F-49BA-AF2B-DCCC133BA9F3.JPG7516752336_IMG_2329IMG_1962.PNG